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Delivery and misdelivery of outer membrane proteins to the BAM complex using cryoEM

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Prof N A Ranson, Prof S E Radford  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The BAM complex folds membrane proteins into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, proteins whose functions are essential for bacterial viability, pathogenicity and virulence. Targeting OMP biogenesis is thus a potential route to combat antibiotic resistance. In recent work we have solved high-resolution cryoEM structures of BAM bound to antibacterial antibody fragments (White et al, Nat. Commun. (2021)). In this PhD studentship we will use state of the art cryoEM and protein engineering to solve the 3D structures of complexes between BAM and the chaperone and protease molecules that are essential for its function in vivo.

You will get extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art cryoEM infrastructure at the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory, learning to solve the 3D structures of membrane proteins to near atomic resolution, and use molecular biology, and biophysical techniques to test complex formation, and folding activity the BAM complex.

The outcome will be new fundamental knowledge of how OMPs are folded and how toxicity from OMP misfolding is dealt with, knowledge with broad benefits and potential applications in microbiology and antimicrobial resistance.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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